RAC Cars News


The London To Brighton Goes Royal

By raccars Published

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The longest-running motoring event in the world, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, takes place this year on Sunday 2 November and will be taking a royal route. For only the second time since 1962, the expedition will include a trip down the Mall, known as the capital's 'red carpet road'.

The Mall was used regularly as part of the route until 1962. Since then it has only been used once, in 1996 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Run.

This is the 118th edition of the annual event. The first run was held in 1927 to celebrate the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896 — itself held to mark the Locomotive on the Highway Act, raising the 'light locomotives' speed limit to 14mph from 4mph and disposing of the need for motor vehicles to follow a man walking along waving a red flag to alert pedestrians to the approaching car.

The 60-mile adventure has been held every year since that first event in 1927, except for during the war and the petrol rationing of 1947. Starting at Hyde Park, the route passes below Wellington Arch, down Constitution Hill and onwards to Buckingham Palace, circumventing the Victoria Memorial and, this year, on to the Mall. The veteran vehicles will then take a right on to Horse Guards Road and then a left to go to Parliament Square, Big Ben and over Westminster Bridge, before heading to the coast and the final destination, Madeira Drive in Brighton.

Participants will be setting off from Hyde Park at sunrise, about 7am, with all vehicles on the road by 8.30am. The first arrivals will be expected at the finish line by 10.01am, with the event officially closed by 4.30pm.

This year 433 pre-1905 cars will be taking part, with the oldest participant being an open tonneau 4hp Truchutet from about 1888, and other entries including steam-powered cars, three-wheelers and electric cars. There will be plenty of familiar famous badges such as Benz, Daimler, Peugeot, Renault and Vauxhall along with rarer marques.

Spectators can view the Run along the route or follow the cars in an open-top bus, which also allows access to the event paddocks at Hyde Park, Crawley and Brighton.

The weekend of the Run will be treat for veteran-car fans in the capital, with the Bonham's Auctions annual Veteran Car Sale taking place on Friday 31 October, followed by a free motor show in Regent Street on Saturday 1 November featuring 300 cars and highlighting 125 years of motoring.

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